Reliance 10 Circuit Transfer Switch


I needed a way to get the power from our outdoor portable generator, to various places in the house.  In the past, I had a small generator, and used extension cords.  Fine for a short emergency, but not ideal for many reasons.  I bought a Reliance 10 circuit manual transfer switch kit.  If you are comfortable doing electrical work, such as replacing breakers in the main breaker panel in your home, then this might be a DIY project for you.  If not, please get an electrician to do the work.

The information I share here is just so you have an idea of the complexity of the job.



The breaker panel for our house is a flush mount.  This complicates the install since I can't simply run flexible conduit into the sides of the box.

I mounted the transfer switch panel near the breaker panel as the switch comes pre-wired.

To simplify the job, I decided to make a removeable panel below the breaker panel.

A hole was cut, and a Carlon electrical box was installed.  This way I retain the existing outlet already in the wall.

A hole was cut in the drywall below the breaker panel, the full width of the studs.

A hole was drilled through the wall, and the 10 gauge wire was pulled through.

The included inlet box was mounted and wired.

The box was sealed with clear silicone caulk against the wall.  The lid has a weather resistant housing.

Holes were drilled into the freshly made wall panel for the flexible conduit.

Flexible conduit was connected to the transfer panel, and wires run.

The wiring process is pretty straight forward.  Essentially, the wire is removed from the orginal panel breaker, the transfer switch is then connected to that breaker, and the wire just removed, connects to the other breaker wire.  This panel was a mess before I began, and I cleaned it up quite a bit.  The house is 1990 vintage, and obviously has had several people stringing wires in there.

Here are the circuits I made switchable in my house.  Obviously, your house and priorities will vary.  I copied the blank picture from the owners manual, and Photoshopped text into each box.  The odd one is why would anyone want a pool pump on an emergency generator circuit?  I modified my pool pump plumbing, it now doubles as a water pump for a fire hose.  I have 100' of 1.5" fire hose ready to go.  More on that project later.

I used the water heater as an initial load test of the transfer switch.

Above the switches on the transfer switch panel, are two load meters.  This way you can monitor the loads on the generator are equally balanced between L1 and L2.

Since I had the panel apart anyway, I added a whole house surge protector, as seen on the right side of the wall panel.  The wall was painted as the previous home owner liked to write on the walls!  I later added a mini-split air conditioner to the garage.  That's a story for another day.

The kit came with a short power cord to connect the generator to the inlet jack.  I later bought a 50' 10-gauge power cord, with the correct connectors.  This way I can put the generator any place that's convenient, and still reach the inlet box.

These are the items used (or equivalent) for this project:

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Last updated 01/24/22    All rights reserved.